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With H. C. Felder www.GivingAnAnswer.org A New Look at the Crusades.

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Presentation on theme: "With H. C. Felder www.GivingAnAnswer.org A New Look at the Crusades."— Presentation transcript:

1 With H. C. Felder A New Look at the Crusades

2 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Road Map IntroductionIntroduction Traditional ViewTraditional View Historical ViewHistorical View Evaluation of ViewsEvaluation of Views SummarySummary

3 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Road Map IntroductionIntroduction

4 ©Copyright H. C. Felder What were the Crusades? - -That depends on the perspective of the teller » »There is a traditional politically correct, yet historically inaccurate view » »There is a politically incorrect, yet historically accurate view - -This presentation will present both views and make the case for the politically incorrect, yet historically accurate view -Covers only the first Crusades

5 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Road Map IntroductionIntroduction Traditional ViewTraditional View

6 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Background Example of Christian intolerance On the eve of the second Christian millennium, the Crusaders massacred some thirty thousand Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, turning the thriving Islamic holy city into a stinking charnel house. For at least five months the valleys and ditches around the city were filled with putrefying corpses,

7 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Background Example of Christian intolerance which were too numerous for the small number of Crusaders who remained behind after the expedition to clear away, and a stench hung over Jerusalem, where the three religions of Abraham had been able to coexist in relative harmony under Islamic rule for nearly five hundred years. (Armstrong, 2005)

8 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Background The Crusaders marched across Europe to the Middle East. Once there, they pillaged and murdered Muslim and Jewish men, women and children indiscriminately, and forced the survivors to convert to Christianity….They were the setting for the world's first mass killings, and are a blot on the history of the Catholic Church, Europe and Western civilization. (Spencer, 2005)

9 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Motivations Church Power grab Christianity rallied an increasingly dissident society against perceived enemies, instigating attacks upon Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians and Jews (Ellerbe,1995) In the roughly 200 years of crusades, thousands, if not millions, were killed. (Ellerbe,1995)

10 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Motivations Forced Muslim Conversion Far from gaining converts to the Roman Catholic Church, the crusades spread a bitter animosity that still lingers today (Ellerbee, 68)

11 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Legacy Reason for current relations between Middle East and the West Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with three hundred Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound…I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it. (Bill Clinton)

12 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Legacy Blamed for 9/11 When Osama bin-Laden issued his Declaration of Jihad on February 23, 1998, he did so against the Jews and Crusaders (Madden, 2005)

13 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Traditional View Legacy Taught Muslims to be Warlike The BBC/A&E documentary The Crusades (1995) hosted by Terry Jones claims that the Islamic world was a place of complete peace before the crusaders arrived and taught the Muslims to be warlike (Madden 2005)

14 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Road Map IntroductionIntroduction Traditional ViewTraditional View Historical ViewHistorical View

15 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Background Rise of Muhammad and Islam Lived from A.D. That Islam sees the world as an open-ended conflict between the Land of Peace (Dar al-Islam) and the Land of War (Dar al-Harb) is the most important legacy of Muhammad (Trifkovic, 51,2002)

16 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View

17 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View King Alexius I Comnenus Pope Gregory VII

18 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Nature of the Crusades Pope Urban II responded to the call and set August 15, 1096, as the departure date for the armies of the crusades (Madden, 13)

19 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View

20 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Nature of the Crusades - - By the standards of the time, adhered to by both Christians and Muslims, the crusaders would have been justified in putting the entire population of Jerusalem to the sword…It is true that many of the inhabitants, both Muslims and Jews were killed in the fray. Yet many were also allowed to purchase their freedom or were simply expelled from the city. Later stories of the streets of Jerusalem coursing with knee-high rivers of blood were never meant to be taken seriously. Medieval people know such a thing to be an impossibility. Modern people, unfortunately, often do not. (Madden, 2005)

21 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Nature of the Crusades On August 11 th, the crusaders took Ascalon and wiped out the entire Egyptian force, securing the Holy Land (Madden, 2005) At this point, most of the crusaders returned home Christians and Muslims lived side-by-side in peace for nearly 200 years (Madden, 2005)

22 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Nature of the Crusades In 1187, the great cities fell to the Muslim leader Saladin culminating with the fall of Jerusalem on October 2 nd

23 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations - -Turn back Muslim aggression » »Within a century, Arab Muslims had conquered Persia, Egypt, and Syria (Madden, 2005) » »When the Muslim forces originally exploded into Byzantine lands Christians were too fragmented to oppose Islam (Madden, 2005) » »The crusade, first and foremost, was a war against Muslims for the defense of the Christian faith (Madden, 2005)

24 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations - -Act of Mercy » »The Christians of the East were suffering at the hands of the Turks (Madden, 2005) » »In 1004, caliph Abu 'Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim ( ) ordered the destruction of churches, the burning of crosses, and the seizure of church property...Over the next ten years, thirty thousand churches were destroyed, and untold numbers of Christians converted to Islam simply to save their lives. In 1009….he commanded that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem be destroyed, along with several other churches. (Spencer, 2005)

25 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations Jerusalem is the most holy city for Christianity Jerusalemthe center of the world, the focus of Gods interventions in history and a relic, since its streets had been walked by Christ and its ground had soaked up Christs blood (Riley-Smith, 6, 1987) Reclaiming Jerusalem

26 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations Knights were willing to make profound sacrifices for the crusade because it was in their nature to do so…By defending the church, they defended all that was good and true in the world. In short, most noblemen who joined the crusade did so from a simple and sincere love of god (Madden, 2005) Personal

27 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations - -Personal » » Each crusader took a pilgrims vow to reach the Holy Sepulcher. He was a pilgrim, first and foremost. The oath he swore was to God, not to the pope or to any other man (Madden, 2005) » »A crusader received a remission from sins, just as would a pilgrim who traveled to a holy shrine » » A crusader army was, in effect, a loosely organized mob of soldiers, clergy and servants, and followers heading in roughly the same direction for roughly the same purposes. Once launched, it could be controlled no more than the wind or the sea.(Madden, 2005)

28 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations - -Personal Approximately 150,000 people across Europe responded to Urban II's summons by donning the cross of the pilgrim. The vast majority of these where poor, and many were women and elderly (or both). "(Madden, 2005) What is clearest in the documentary record is that the vast majority of these knightly crusaders were not spare sons but instead the lords of their estates. It was not those with the least to lose who took up the cross, but rather those with the most." (Riley-Smith, 1987) The chief motivation was a genuine idealism (Riley- Smith, 1987)

29 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Motivations - -Personal Very few crusaders remained in the Holy Land once their vows were fulfilled (Madden, 2005) When the Crusaders were victorious and established kingdoms and principalities in the Middle East, they generally let the Muslims in their domains live in peace, practice their religion freely, build new mosques and schools, and maintain their own religious tribunals (Spencer, 2005) The Crusaders sack of Jerusalem was a heinous crime particularly in light of the religious and moral principles they professed to uphold. However, by the military standards of the day, it was not out of the ordinary (Spencer, 2005)

30 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Legacy Has had the greatest impact on current views A historian who used Sir Walter Scott fictional work The Talisman published in 1825 as his guide Portrayed the crusaders and simpletons and barbarians Sir Steven Runcimans History of the Crusades ( )

31 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Legacy - -The Muslim world was unaware of the crusades until recently » »As late as the seventeenth century the crusades remained virtually unknown to the Muslim world (Madden, 2005) » » The long memory of the crusades in the Muslim world is, in fact, a constructed memoryone in which the memory is much younger than the event itself (Madden, 2005)

32 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Legacy - -The Muslim world was unaware of the crusades until recently » »For the vast majority of Muslims in Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Malaya, Afghanistan and India, they were remote border incidents. It was only in the twentieth century, when the West had become more powerful and threatening, that Muslim historians would become preoccupied by the medieval Crusades (Armstrong, 2002)

33 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Legacy When the Muslims finally united they dispatched the infidels and that was all. It is not the crusades, then that led to the attacks of September 11, but the artificial memory of the crusades constructed by modern colonial powers and passed down by Arab nationalists and Islamists. (Madden, 2005)When the Muslims finally united they dispatched the infidels and that was all. It is not the crusades, then that led to the attacks of September 11, but the artificial memory of the crusades constructed by modern colonial powers and passed down by Arab nationalists and Islamists. (Madden, 2005) No Real Connection to 9/11

34 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Legacy Slaughters did occur in the initial wave of the conquest: during the Muslim invasion of Syria in 634, thousands of Christians were massacred; in Mesopotamia between 635 and 642, monasteries were ransacked and the monks and villagers slain; in Egypt the towns…were put to the sword. The inhabitants of Cilicia were taken into captivity. In Armenia, the entire population of Euchaita was wiped out. (Trifkovic, 2002)Slaughters did occur in the initial wave of the conquest: during the Muslim invasion of Syria in 634, thousands of Christians were massacred; in Mesopotamia between 635 and 642, monasteries were ransacked and the monks and villagers slain; in Egypt the towns…were put to the sword. The inhabitants of Cilicia were taken into captivity. In Armenia, the entire population of Euchaita was wiped out. (Trifkovic, 2002) Muslims acted worse than Crusaders

35 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Historical View Legacy When the Muslim Ottoman Empire sought to suppress reforms of its Armenian subjects between Estimates of Armenian victims murdered in this two- year period range up to 300,000, with associated destruction to livelihood and many thousands forcibly converted to Islam (Riddell & Cotterell, 2003)When the Muslim Ottoman Empire sought to suppress reforms of its Armenian subjects between Estimates of Armenian victims murdered in this two- year period range up to 300,000, with associated destruction to livelihood and many thousands forcibly converted to Islam (Riddell & Cotterell, 2003) Muslims acted worse than Crusaders

36 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Road Map IntroductionIntroduction Traditional ViewTraditional View Historical ViewHistorical View Evaluation of the ViewsEvaluation of the Views

37 ©Copyright H. C. Felder The current conception of the crusades is based on modern prejudices that ignore recent scholarship » »Even before Runciman wrote his book, however, professional historians had begun to discard the projection of modern agendas onto the medieval crusades, seeking instead to understand the campaigns on their own terms and within their own context….However, hundreds of scholarly books and thousands of scholarly articles written have thus far failed to move popular perceptions of the crusades much beyond Runciman. (Madden, 2005)

38 ©Copyright H. C. Felder The historical perspective is based on recent scholarship » »Thanks to the works of scholars like Jonathan Riley-Smith, who analyzed large quantities of documents relating to those who actually participated in the crusades, we have a very different picture of the Crusaders than the popularized version

39 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Road Map IntroductionIntroduction Traditional ViewTraditional View Historical ViewHistorical View Evaluation of ViewsEvaluation of Views SummarySummary

40 ©Copyright H. C. Felder The main purpose of the crusades was to turn back Muslim aggression The majority of the people who participated where sincere Christians who volunteered out of a sense of duty to Christ The current politically correct view of the Crusades in inaccurate and based on anti- Christian and anti-West bias

41 ©Copyright H. C. Felder There is no connection between the Crusades and hostilities between Islam and the West today except those invented by Muslims The acts of the Crusaders where not at all out of line with the times and pales in comparison to acts committed by Muslim before and after the Crusades

42 ©Copyright H. C. Felder Armstrong, Karen. Islam: A Short History. Modern Library ed. New York: Modern Library, Kindle Electronic Edition. Ellerbe, H. (1995). The dark side of Christian history. San Rafael, CA.: Morningstar Books. Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History of the Crusades. Updated ed. Lanham, Md.: National Book Network, Riddell, Peter G., and Peter Cotterell. Islam in Context: Past, Present, and Future. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, Spencer, Robert. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades. Lanham, MD: National Book Network, Kindle Electronic Edition.. The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World's most Intolerant Religion. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub., Kindle Electronic Edition. Riley-Smith, J. (1987). The Crusades: A short history. New Haven: Yale University Press. Trifkovic, Serge. The Sword of the Prophet: Islam: History, Theology, Impact on the World. Boston, Mass.: Regina Orthodox Press, 2002.

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